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Our Counseling staff
Phyllis Laughlin, MA, LCPC, Clinical Director of Adoptive Parent Services
Phyllis has been with The Cradle since 2000, first as an Adoptive Parent Counselor and now as Clinical Director of Adoptive Parent Services. She supervises a staff of counselors, facilitates training sessions, and works with adoptive parents as they go through the home study process and accept placement. She is involved with the adoption of international, domestic, and special-needs infants and children.
Phyllis earned her Master's degree in community counseling and is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois. She has over 15 years of work experience in a corporate setting, has worked as a grief counselor and trainer, and has a small private practice specializing in work with adults.
Dana T. Mulhall, LCSW, Clinical Supervisor of Expectant Parent Services
Dana began at The Cradle in 2000, first as a birth parent counselor and then as an adoptive parent counselor. Dana now supervises the team of counselors who work with expectant parents considering adoption and birth parents. She enjoys supporting the work of the counselors as they support their clients. She is also a facilitator of adoptive parent educational workshops. Dana received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Catholic University in 1998 and Master of Social Work degree in 2000 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois.
Arletta Barbel, M.A., Adoption Counselor:
Ever since her experience as a peer mentor in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, Arletta knew she enjoyed mentoring and offering support. Before coming to The Cradle, she worked as a Crisis Counselor at Chicago Youth Centers and as a respite worker at Metropolitan Family Services. Arletta received her Bachelor's Degree from Southern Illinois University and her master's degree from National Louis University.
Liesl Einerson, LCSW, Counselor:
Before joining the Cradle, Liesl worked with foster care & adoptions, teen mothers, and post adoption therapy. Liesl is passionate about helping women & children and enjoys learning about new people and cultures. Liesl received her Masters of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Liesl meets with expectant parents in and around our Indiana office.
Corinne Ferguson, MSW Adoption Counselor
Corinne received her Master’s degree in Social Work with a clinical concentration in Child and Family Therapy from Loyola University, where she also received her Bachelor’s in Social Work. She also has advanced training in group facilitation. Before coming to The Cradle, Corinne helped prepare families for adoption as a Case Manager. Her previous experience also includes youth advocacy in the Illinois court system. Prior to becoming a social worker Corinne spent 9 yrs working in the healthcare field in a hospital setting and a small private practice on the north shore.
Dori Fujii, MSW, LCSW, Adoption Counselor
Dori Fujii has worked in the field of child welfare and adoption since she received her Master's in Social Work from the University of Illinois in 1976. Since 1983, she has been in private practice specializing in work with children, adults and families. She has also worked as a consultant to DCFS in their pre- and post-adoptive services programs, providing assessment and treatment, and has advanced training from the Theraplay Institute in Chicago.
Nina M. Friedman, LCSW, Director of Post Adoption Liaisons
Nina has over 14 years of social work experience, working with foster and adoptive children and families, birth parents, and adult adopted people both at The Cradle and in the public child welfare system. She has also worked in private practice as a therapist. Nina has an in depth understanding of many adoption issues. She provides counseling to all members of the adoption circle, compiles background histories, conducts and facilitates search and reunion services, and helps adoptive and birth families mediate open adoption issues that arise. Nina received her undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University in Psychology with a minor in Family Relations and Human Development and her Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois. Contact Nina at 847-733-2295 or email@example.com.
Katie Gattone, MSW, Adoption Counselor
Katie has over 16 years of experience working in the field of social work. She has worked with foster and adoptive families throughout her career with experience completing subsidized adoptions and special needs adoptions. Katie also has experience in licensing and post adoption services. She has a Master’s in Social Work from University of Illinois-Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work. Katie enjoys being a part of a fabulous team at The Cradle and helping build families through adoption.
Leia Grand, MA, Cradle Counselor:
Taylor Hurst, MA, Cradle Counselor:
Emily Kenneally, MSW, LSW, Adoption Counselor
Emily is a licensed social worker in the state of Illinois and has been working in the social work field for over seven years. Prior to joining the counseling team at The Cradle, Emily worked with pregnant and parenting teen mothers. She received her undergraduate degree from St. Norbert College and later received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Jane Addams College of Social Work. Emily is passionate about creating families through adoption.
Beth Canning Lupo, MA, Counselor:
Before joining the Cradle, Beth provided therapeutic services to foster families in crisis, and worked for a private practice which specialized in family violence. Beth received her Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. In addition to her work at The Cradle, Beth also devotes her time as a board member for Rainbows, a non profit which provides support for children experiencing grief and loss.
Kathleen McShane, MA, Adoption Counselor
Kathleen earned her bachelors degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. She will complete her masters degree in Psychology this summer from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Kathleen has previously worked for other agencies in New York in special needs adoption, foster care, and therapeutic foster care. She has also worked with adults and children with developmental disabilities such as Autism and Cerebral Palsy.
Allison Means, MSW, Counselor
Before coming to the Cradle, Allison worked with pregnant and parenting teen mothers. She is passionate about providing supportive options counseling and is dedicated to serving women and children. Allison earned her bacholers degrees in Psyhology and Women's Studies from Loyola University Chicago and her Masters Degree from Jane Addams College of Social Work.
Iheoma C. Okeke-Banks, MA, Social Service Manager
Iheoma rejoined the Cradle staff in March 2007 to work with adoptive families in both the domestic and international adoption programs. She previously worked with the Cradle in the same capacity from 2004 through 2006. Prior to working at the Cradle, Iheoma was employed as an adoption counselor working with families interested in adopting children with special needs. Iheoma received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago and her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University. She enjoys working with families of all types to through the adoption process and in preparation for becoming parents.
Sue PuffPaff, Adoption Counselor
Sue has worked in the social work field for 13 years, 7 of that in adoption. She received her Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois. She has a myriad of adoption experiences which includes adoption in the public child welfare system, post adoption and providing counseling to adoptive families. Sue is committed to the field of social work and is passionate about creating families through adoption.
Jennifer Rogers, LCSW, Counselor:
Jennifer has extensive experience in a wide variety of areas, from providing clinical advice to attorneys to running parents' and children's support groups. She has also worked in private practice as a therapist and supervised child care programs. Jennifer received her Bachelors of Psychology and her Masters of Social Work from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Judy Stigger, LCSW, Adoption Therapist and Clinical Director of Adoption Learning Partners
Pam Tancredi, LCSW, Counselor:
Pam has many years of social service work, from helping children build self esteem to counseling young adults to reach their community and educational goals. As a Cradle counselor, Pam uses her experience to work closely with clients as they explore adoption for their child. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Pam received her bachelor's degree from Miami University and her master's degree from the University of Chicago.
Meghan Walsh, MSW, Counselor:
Prior to joining the counseling team at The Cradle, Meg completed internships at two different adoption agencies and went on to work as an Adoption Specialist with children in the foster care system. After receiving a B.A. from Marquette University with a double major in Social Welfare & Justice and Sociology and a minor in Family Studies, Meg received her Masters Degree in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago. Meg enjoys meeting new people and learning about the lives of people from all different backgrounds.
Heide Winckler, LCSW, Adoption Counselor:
Heide joined The Cradle in 2004 as a Birthparent Counselor. After counseling expectant parents for eight years, she is now an Adoption Counselor specializing in the match process. Heide's previous experience with birth families provides a unique and valuable perspective as she provides support and guidance to prospective adoptive families during the match and placement process. She is also a facilitator for various adoptive parent educational workshops. Heide received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Illinois.
CONNECT WITH THE CRADLE
Call our 24-hour toll-free number
Or text us at 224-489-1369
Monday-Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
one-on-one with a Cradle counselor. It is completely private and confidential.